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Lot 328 (Fine Jewellery, Watches and Designer Handbags - Live Online, 7th July 2020)

A 22ct gold fine William Webster quarter repeater verge watch, c.1715

A 22ct gold fine William Webster quarter repeater verge watch, c.1715,
Exchange Ally, London no.433, by this apprentice of Thomas Tompion, with a single 22ct gold case with square joint and unusual sprung cover to the winding hole in the rear of the case. The pierced and engraved case with vignettes of rural scenes and masks, the oval central reserve on the case back engraved with a crowned lion rampart. Housed in what may be an original leather covered protective outer case. Finely engraved fusee movement and early cap, very much in the manner of Tompion, the quarter repeating work present and working but needing adjustment to sound properly on the original scratch numbered bell. The pulse-piece present and operational, as is the very escapement, although the watch has not been serviced for many years. Later enamel dial, a replacement for what will have been a gold champlevé dial. Note: many such changes were made to English watches as the fashion for the new 'white' dials took off in the 1730s. Beetle and poker hands, the poker (minute hand) a later replacement. Diameter 53.5mm. 156.77g.

William Webster, apprenticed to Thomas Tompion in 1702, working on his own from around 1710, died in 1734. Webster placed an advert in the London Gazette four days after Tompion's death on 20 November 1713 stating, 'This is to certify all Persons of whatever Quality or Distinction that William Webster, at the Dial and Three Crowns in Exchange-Ally London, served his Apprenticeship, and served as a Journeyman a Considerable Time with the said Mr Tompion, and by his Industry and Care is fully acquainted with his Secrets in the said Art'. He was succeeded by his son, also named William.

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Sold for £3,700


Condition report

Later dial and minute hand and damage to the cap, the repeat working sluggishly and not always sounding on the bell.
The leather outer case worn but retaining both catches. Later chased key, gilt metal bow.

 

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The auction details are as follows:

Auction: Fine Jewellery, Watches and Designer Handbags - Live Online, 7th July 2020

VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Wednesday 1 – Monday 6 July, 9.30am-4.30pm, including Saturday and Sunday.

 

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